A company has been accepting payment from multitudes of people to be cryogenically preserved in 'cans'. But it turns out that it's all a scam and they're dead. The cans are being shot out into space where, rather than getting to a new planet, they're exploding and oozing out nasty goo.
This is definitely not the main part of the novel; it might just be a scene. The book was humorous, making fun of corrupt bureaucracy - maybe Douglas Adams; but I can't seem to locate it.
Trying to think of more details... the perspective of the scene is from, or involves, an unmotivated, low-level employee at this facility. There are definitely stinky, nasty piles of these rotting "cans." Also, there's definitely an overpopulation problem going on.
Probably from the 1980s.